As reported by Dan Goodin on Ars Technica, Jeremi Gosney, the founder and CEO of Stricture Consulting Group has just unveiled a five server system that is capable of brute force cracking any strong eight character password in about five and a half hours. This is four times faster than previous capabilities.
The cluster of servers run Linux and running the Virtual OpenCL cluster platform and a password cracking suite that can be used by anyone free of charge.
This technology cannot be used to crack online passwords, most sites have protection against large amounts of failed logins. But it can be used on what is called offline cracks. Although there is no way to make your passwords 100% uncrackable, it is a good idea to be sure that your passwords are never less than nine characters in length and utilize capitalization and special characters so that they are strong passwords.